Gratitude Sunday: Invest In Our Most Valuable Natural Resource

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Green growth, buds swelling
to fruit, sweet ripeness, heavy
abundance breaks branch.

Sunday Musings
I don’t know about you but lately I feel as if the world or I have gone totally insane. And I don’t really think it’s me.

I’ve worked hard all my life. I supported a disabled hubster with no financial assistance from tax dollars. We raised a child ourselves with little in the way of child care because one or both of us was always home with our child. I accessed public assistance for a few of the son’s earliest years; that assistance was a stepping stone for me to a college degree and a new career, albeit with a huge debt load that I could have never paid back had it not been for the inheritance from the hubster’s aunt and three concerned human women in the Oregon Department of Human Services who decided my family needed a break, and insisted on paying the student loan for me before Medicare sucked up the bulk of auntie’s annuity. Had Medicare not stepped in wanting “reimbursement” I could have paid off my mortgage as well, and faced retirement with a modicum of security.

I’ve done all kinds of work in my life, both inside and outside my home. I’ve pumped gas, delivered newspapers (remember newspapers?), sold vacuums and magazine subscriptions, washed toilets, cleaned houses, cared for other people’s children and pets, served over retail counters, and had a couple other careers in there as well: BD (before degree) I was a licensed hairdresser for 20 years, and AD (after degree) I was in library (public service) work for almost as long. For many years I was able to keep a garden, and not only eat my own fresh organic food, I preserved what I grew. For many years BD I created lacy and be-ribboned headbands and barrettes to sell at the hair salon I worked in, and special order bridal hair clips and hair bands as well.

Because of a traumatic work incident I find myself succumbing to disability and forced into early retirement. All those years of work and planning for retirement was not enough. We didn’t have classes in school about personal economics, finances, investing, or how to use your money, and when I went to school they wouldn’t have encouraged young women to take those classes anyway. It’s not like I didn’t try. I was/am frugal. I planned. I saved. I listened to my mother who had time to read financial planning information and who had successfully done some of her own saving. I learned to plan better and choose better as I went along. And many of my choices didn’t turn out the way I planned. Don’t tell me I made the wrong choices. Consequences of choices cannot be controlled unless you have or are born into the kind of wealth where you aren’t scrabbling and scratching for any and every advantage. The money I saved was never enough to invest to let my money make money for me, the technique wealthy people use. The banks changed games along the way; the first Certificate of Deposit (CD) I invested in paid 8 percent, the last CD I bought paid .01 which is what I get in my regular savings account so why would I bother to tie up my money for an investment that pays me pennies for the few thousand dollars I have to work with? I got by paycheck to paycheck. I resemble the average working person in the United States of America, land of opportunity (if your choices go right).

Now our entire nation has been pushed off the deep end of sanity. Our new administration has proven themselves to be liars who think all us lesser thans are stupid and unworthy, as if their money gives them worth. The last 50 years of activism, feminism, and empathy on the part of caring citizens has produced hell for the average worker, not because of us, but in spite of us because we have been fighting the good fight. These administrators place value on what you earn, rather than what you are. Anybody who cannot produce an income is disposable. We know, of course, people are not disposable.

In the past I have had my few moments of standing up for what is right. I have had the luxury with this venue to have my say. I’m going to blame it on math and 2017 being a prime number year, but the transition is upon us. Many of us have become and are becoming radicalized in the name of empathy and democracy. We can no longer tolerate being used as workers and cast into the pits of poverty as punishment for being workers. If you want to mince around with words and label that socialism or nationalism or whatever ism you mince with, fine. But if we don’t make the shift to an empathetic world, caring for the least of us, we are doomed. If America is a democracy we should be able to make the government work for all citizens. We have to be willing to serve in office for what we believe, we need to carefully assess our elected representatives and monitor their service, and as citizens we must continue to have our voice.

This year I am radicalized for the average person and empathy for those with less. Why? I am appalled at all the efforts of and money spent by billionaires to effect change in social policy for the benefit of only a handful of people. Not only does that make no sense at all to me to treat people as disposable for the benefit of a few, it is deplorable and unconscionable. The billions of dollars the billionaire class have spent avoiding taxes are likely more than they would have paid had they paid their fair share of taxes on their income in the first place. That fair share of tax money would be a game changer in the lives of average people, and we’d have to choose to invest in the citizenry and not the military industrial complex.

Play in my wild imagination if you will. Imagine a world where the most precious natural resource is people, not just the people who can earn or create wealth. Every person has value regardless of their ability to be productive, or any other difference.

Imagine every person has access to appropriate health care. If you feel better you are going to be more productive.

Imagine everybody has equal access to quality locally grown organic foods. Better nutrition helps you feel better, which helps you be more productive.

Imagine a world where women are honored members of society, not treated as possessions or chattel. Imagine a world where children are the glory and joy of the community. Imagine assisting all women in successfully raising their children in secures homes with enough food and health care for all challenges. Healthy well-fed children are more able to learn and create.

Imagine a world where science and education are important and supported. Where children really learn basics (good old-fashioned reading, writing, and arithmetic) and discovery (science and critical thinking), and aren’t just warehoused and conformity-conditioned. Where re-training is readily available for people when their bodies or abilities change. Proper education makes you more productive.

Imagine you didn’t have to fight and scrape to make ends meet, that you had a secure home base you won’t be evicted from, and the assistance (physical, financial, emotional, whatever) to take care of whatever home you have. Knowing your home is secure helps you be more productive.

Imagine, you have a secure home, you are as healthy as you’ve ever been, you have good food on your table, and you are feeling well physically, emotionally, socially. You have so much to contribute to society now because you have fewer worries in your life. Because you have fewer worries you are even more able to be productive so you begin helping others be productive as well, like your children and your neighbors. And your neighbors are doing the same because, hwell, they are felling pretty darn good themselves.

Then imagine all that security provides you access to a world where there is enough gainful employment for all who want and are able to work to do so. Where there is less stress because if something happens to change your circumstances you still have your home, and quality food, and easy access to health care, and educational opportunities to address any changes you may experience. Imagine those jobs don’t necessarily provide fantastic wealth but enough security to be enough to save a bit for retirement, because those jobs are all about the advancement of society, in such industries as green energy, organic local farming, universal community health, maybe even subsidized motherhood and universal basic income.

Radicalization is about thinking differently, let’s say outside the box but inside the community, and it isn’t about destruction or terrorism. It makes no sense to me whatsoever to glorify money when so many do without. The thing is the billionaires spend so much just trying to avoid their fair share, that amount spent on the avoidance would have paid the tax several times over. I pay my fair share as a low-income person. I’d be willing to pay more to make sure we (myself included) had a modicum of security in this world. Why the billionaire class think they are above paying their fair share is beyond me. It used to be a point of pride for wealthy people to give back to their community. When did that thought die? The average worker seems willing enough to pay their share.

I know the value of our most precious natural resource and I realize to maintain a natural resource it takes money since that is the current exchange system we are using. So here I sit, thinking and imagining, and to my mind I think we should invest in our most precious natural resource, but I don’t have any money to convince you to think what I think is right. I’m radicalized for empathy and feeling totally insane.

Color Watchcolorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Bright yellow moth mullein, look at the details in the center. Lavender so heavy it can’t hold itself up. Combination gardens: vermillion crocosmia and exotic purple hollyhocks. Hot pink fuchsia floating like birds amid purple starbursts. Red-orange crocosmia dragon-riding curvy green stalks.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} In the middle of the first season of Wiseguy (1987-1990, rated TV – 14) I realized I did watch this series before 30 years ago. The characters were all familiar but 30 years later I don’t remember the plot. The big hair on the women and the cars are fun. * Started Ballers (2016, rated TV – MA), an HBO TV series with Dwayne Johnson as a retired football player turned financial adviser. Sex, drugs, money, and football. * Zulu (1964, not rated), Michael Caine’s first major movie, about the Battle of Rorke’s Drift in South Africa in January of 1879 when 150 British soldiers, many of whom were ill and injured in the field hospital there, held off an attack by 4000 native Zulu. It’s a period movie, and of course, Hollywood, so who knows how historically accurate. Still, a fascinating bit of history. * Harry Brown (2009, rated R), with Michael Caine. A pensioner who has lost his young daughter, and recently his old wife, turns vigilante when his old friend is murdered by the gang of local tough kids. Disturbing but recommended.

Currently Reading Hot Season (2016, fiction) by Susan Defreitas. Slow starter. Half way through and I think it’s about environmental activism. * Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016, radical politics), by Jane Mayer. This is a long tough read, so much information about a world of money that people use to change other people’s world views to match theirs. I am so far away from that world of wealth, I could live on Venus. But I am learning what those sneaky billionaires are up to and how they go about it. Their deviousness does not impress me; it disgusts me, especially when they hurt citizens and the workings of a democratic government in the name of profit.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Fine clear summer days.
  • Listening to a friend vent. Just listening.
  • Continuing to attack some paper challenges and getting a couple piles sorted out with most of it going into the recycle.
  • Getting a couple outside spaces tidied up a little bit at a time.
  • Starting to clean out the space for my new bookcase.
  • Mastering a couple new water exercises.
  • A couple of young lifeguards at my aquatic center who are going off to their first year of college next month. They will be missed, but I hope they have great adventures and come back next summer for summer jobs and to tell me their stories.
  • Figuring out how to use the new local BottleDrop facility to cash in my cans and bottles.
  • The neighbor who keeps a year-round bird friendly yard and I get to enjoy their birdsong whenever I walk by.
  • Getting some paperwork completed, copied, and mailed before the deadline.
  • The plum tree loaded with fruit this year.
  • Fat Rainier cherries.
  • Red leaf, red oak leaf, and green leaf lettuce.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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One Response to Gratitude Sunday: Invest In Our Most Valuable Natural Resource

  1. piratesorka says:

    Deep thoughts my friend, deep stuff. I am afraid my brain is a bit of mush today . I’m busy fighting off the urge to take a colossal nap that is drug induced. Its all because I broke my little toe on my right leg and it is now confined in a special “ankle boot”. Very fashionable… said no one in particular.The color of the flowers you chose this week were stuning I especially loved the purple and vermillion. So nice of your neighbor to share like she has. Okay my eyes are in cahoots with my fingers and they are dreifting off to sleeeppppppppppp.

    Liked by 1 person

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